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security is really not an issue here. social security didn't contribute to the deficits and debt. i don't think there will be any appetite whatsoever for touching social security. but those points i think democrats are quite unified on. the area where i think there is room for negotiation and compromise is, the rates are going to go up. i think we all recognize that. will the rates go up completely? are there other ways where they can come up somewhat short of that but make up the revenues by reducing deductions from higher income families? >> so the deal that we're talking about is halfway between the current rate and the former rate? >> well, i wouldn't say halfway. but i would say, as long as you can get to the revenues, if you can increase the rates and reduce the deductions for upper income households, you can get to the same dollar number and i think there's a willingness to entertain that. it does tend to complicate the tax code. the simplest way is simply to raise the tax rates up to the clinton levels and, you know, we do have a strong interest in simplifying the tax code.
. >> alan simpson, the co-chair of the president's deficit commission, was on the "today" show this morning and he said all this talk about either side being able to go off the cliff is ridiculous. let me play that for you. >> when you have leaders of parties and people from the administration saying i think it would be to the advantage of the democrats to go off the cliff or i think it will be advantage to the republicans to go off the cliff or the president to go off the cliff, that's like betting your country. there's stupidity involved in that. this is big time stuff. >> and there's also a question of how far the white house is willing to go to protect middle class tax cuts. are they willing to limit unemployment insurance, give up infrastructure spending, which is something the president has been talking about from the beginning, payroll tax cut. what's the white house plan here? >> well, alan simpson in addition to being an excellent dancer is a very shrewd political analyst. >> very hip, alan simpson. >> very, very, very good dancer recently. but, look, i think people talk in
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